Despite Winds from the North, We Fishermen did go Forth — 20 Dec. 2013, Stillhouse Hollow, 19 Fish

Tough fishing today!

Despite high winds in conjunction with a stiff cold front’s arrival, we persisted and put a few white bass in the boat today, all on slabs from out of about 27-29′ of water.

I was joined by long-time clients Jim and Shena S. from Austin, TX. We were all in a bit of a scheduling crunch which, long story short, put us in the path of a significant cold front as we tried our hand at boating some white bass today. Jim and Shena had school responsibilities right up until Tuesday with holiday travel planned thereafter. I was hemmed in prior to our trip with pre-op medical appointments in advance of my upcoming rotator cuff surgery through Wednesday, and then faced the surgery afterwards on Friday. So, we let schedules dictate our fishing time instead of allowing weather to do so and this showed in our results as we wound up fishing on this less than ideal Thursday.

I was confident we could catch a few fish as this was still a dry front (hard, wet cold fronts are killers and demand a postponement) so, after talking things over with Jim the night before, we decided to go. You know the old saying, ” A bad day of fishing …”.

It was a blustery day with winds at 18 gusting higher as we launched around 1:30pm. The cold front had arrived hours earlier, the winds had peaked at 22-24 around 11a and were ever so slowly slacking off. The temperatures hadn’t dropped nearly as far as they would in the clear overnight hours, but, it was definitely NOT balmy, either!

Due to the high winds, we were limited to fishing the upper lake of Stillhouse Hollow as boat control in the more exposed lower end would have been an impossibility. We found exactly 3 populations of fish to fish for today and there was some commonality in the locations. All 3 were on the high points of small, open-water flats in 27-29 feet of water, all were tight to the bottom, and all were very sluggish, feeding only for a short while after we initially made contact.

Small and slow are the keys to sluggish fish, so, we geared up with 3/8 oz. slabs (TNT180’s in white) and made intentionally prolonged pauses in our jigging strokes to give fish ample opportunity to get to and inhale our baits.

We connected with fish at Areas 1154, 334, and 1156. I kept a close watch on sonar, especially when Jim and Shena were reeling in hooked fish to see what other commotion this produced. Each time it was much the same — just a few (3-4) schoolmates would pull a foot or two up off bottom out of curiosity, but then settled right back down.

By 4:30pm the winds had knocked down to 16+ mph or so and so I headed as far downlake as I dared. I got to look over two deep humps I hoped were somewhat insulated from the changing conditions, but they were clean — not even holding bait.

We gave downrigging a try at mid-lake as the light began to fail trying to cover a lot of water quickly in hopes of connecting with a few “high riders” using the light up near the surface to feed, but, that didn’t work, either.

We ended our trip with 19 fish boated and look forward to better weather and better results on our next outing when Jim and Shena’s schedules next relent.

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Start Time: 1:30pm

End Time: 6:00pm

Air Temp: 47F at trip’s start.

Water Surface Temp: 52F

Wind: NNW16-18+.

Skies: Clear.

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